The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Deuteronomy 5: 1-21 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. ‘You shall not murder. ‘You shall not commit adultery. ‘You shall not steal. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
We live in a day and age when fatherhood and motherhood are viewed as an afterthought, something to do after you have lived your life, your way. The age of a father going to work to provide for his family, and a mother staying in the home to care for her children and manage her home, have been replaced by the frenzied, always on the go lifestyle of a nation absolutely drunk with materialism, consumerism, entertainment, and the worship of self. Children are increasingly born into homes with only one parent present, no father around, or with two mommies and two daddies. Men are content to live in their man caves apart from their families, while their wives toil away online telling people how to manage their homes, rather than caring for the family that God has given them.
Honor your father and your mother.
Grandparenting as we know it has changed as well. The idealistic picture of grandchildren sitting on grandpa's lap, while grandma bakes cookies in the kitchen is a myth of yesteryear. Gone are the days of dignified grandparents passing on wisdom to the generation coming up behind them. Multi Generationalism is a vapor, a mist, a faded memory of the good ole days, when fathers would walk beside sons, and mothers beside daughters, and pour into them all that they learned as parents. Instead, we live in a day when 50 is the new 30; a day when grandparents cry “I’ve done raised my children, now it’s time for me to live my life how I want to”.
Honor your father and your mother.
How can we honor father and mother in the current climate?
How do we honor a father and mother who are absent?
How is it possible to honor a father and mother who choose to be distant?
How are you able to honor father and mother, when they seem cold, apathetic, and unconcerned about their relationship towards you?
What about a father and mother whose lives seem structured in a way that makes it very easy for them to float in and out of your lives on a whim? How do you honor them?
3 John 1:4 NASB
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
Regardless of whether you have a mother and father who are present, active, engaged, and fulfilling their duties towards God, or you have a parent that has shirked off their roles to pursue their own agendas apart from the will of God, one thing is certain: walking in the truth of God’s Word is the most honoring way you can live your life towards your parents, whether they receive that honor as such, or not.
Living your life in the narrow way, loving the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and, strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself, is the only way possible for you to truly honor your father and your mother. Bitterness towards them is not honoring. Playing tit for tat with them over perceived wrongs is not honoring. Using your children as a pawn in the chess match called relationship is not honoring. Honoring your father and mother in the present age demands that you show mercy towards them, remembering that they are sinners in need of grace, just as you are. Honoring your father and mother means that you must faithfully show them Christ in every interaction you get with them, because that may be the only time they hear the gospel.
Though we may look upon our parents and wonder where that superhero of a father went, or what changed that your mother looks more like a desperate woman clinging to the past rather than a grandmother who enjoys the season she is in, remember this: your parents were never the superhero dad, or the mother of the year that you look back and remember them as. They have been, are, and always will be a man and woman in desperate need of the grace of God, and you, dear brothers and sisters, are in a position to share that grace with them.
Honor your father and your mother.
Dear Heavenly Father. All of us have an earthly father and mother. Some have passed away. Some play an active part in our lives, while others seem distant. Father, many have parents who appear to relish their role in the lives of their children, while others seem to despise their lot in life. Father, there are a wide variety of ways that the relationship with our parents may manifest itself, yet one thing is certain: we must honor them. Whether present or absent, near or far, we must honor them, and this is difficult for us. They are sinners in need of grace, and we often forget this and hold them to our personal standards. Rather than seeing them as sinners in need of a Savior, we view them as fallen, disappointing heros from our childhood. Heavenly Father, please help us to view our parents the way You do. Please help us to honor our father and mother by walking in the truth, and pointing them to the cross. Please forgive us for how we often idolize our parents and our relationship with them. Please forgive us when we feign peace in our relationship with our parents, because we believe that this is honoring. Please forgive us for when we place our light under a shade when around our parents, for fear of pushing them away or causing conflict. Please fill us with Your Spirit, and enable us to walk in the truth, which is most honoring to them. It’s in the Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Titus 3: 3-7 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 5-12-19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)